Best Practice

Creating a shared culture of professional learning across a MAT

The Academy Transformation Trust has launched its own institute to drive a shared culture of professional development for almost 2,000 staff across 22 schools. Kathryn Morgan speaks with institute director Abby Bayford to find out how this works in practice


In 2014, Kraft and Papay’s pioneering research into the link between school professional environments and teacher development highlighted that if we are to support teachers to keep improving and develop their expertise long into their careers then ensuring schools have supportive environments and cultures is of fundamental importance.

However, England’s evolving educational landscape and the rise of multi-academy trusts (MATs) means that we are now not only talking about standalone school environments, but organisation-wide cultures and environments.

MATs are having to widen both the reach and impact of their professional development provision. They now need to meet the needs of increasing numbers of staff and in a wider range of roles, such as HR and administration, shifting the language from teacher development to people development.

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